A lot of tall tales are often told throughout the entire state of Texas; however, not all of them are true. One of those tales involves the picking of a bluebonnet, the official state flower.

Officially, it IS illegal to pick the flower from the ground, at least in state parks. However, from 1933 until 1973, it was illegal to pick bluebonnets anywhere in the entire state. Up until 1973, fines of $1 to $10 were imposed on anyone who sought to pick bluebonnets either on private property or public parks. This law was nicknamed the “Wild Flower Protection Act.”

The ban was initially proposed by both garden clubs and women’s clubs and also outlawed dealing in or transporting bluebonnets, as well as any other type of wildflower.

One state representative later stated that the law essentially made it illegal for a child to pick a flower for their teacher; however, a later amendment ended up exempting children from criminal prosecution in regards to the law, and the maximum fine was reduced to $10 following a debate to impose a minimum 10-cent fine.

Another amendment by the House also made it illegal to pick the following:

*Locoweed

*Jimsonweed

*Poison ivy

Despite this, there remains no apparent record of anyone actually being slapped with a fine for simply for picking bluebonnets in Texas.

Thank you for visiting Jarvis, Garcia & Erskine’s blog. We are an Austin criminal defense law firm. We write to inform locals about law changes, events and news.